Everything You Need to Know About PVC Roofing

PVC roofing is one of the oldest roofing options. PVC roofing usually appears on commercial facilities, but there are times when PVC roofing has residential applications.

No matter what building you have, PVC roofing is a viable option if you need a roofing membrane. Discover more about PVC roofing, its applications, and its benefits.


What is PVC Roofing?

What is PVC RoofingView in gallery

When you hear the term “PVC,” you may think about PVC pipes like the ones you see in your plumbing system. Those pipes can’t form a roofing system, but the material is the same. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, which is a single-ply white membrane.

In plumbing, manufacturers add chemicals to harden the material to form pipes. In roofing, the added materials result in a flat, flexible material with residential and commercial roofing applications.

PVC roofing is most common on commercial facilities, but flat residential roofs lend themselves to PVC roofing. To be considered a “flat roof,” the pitch must be below 2:12. That is, the roof goes up less than two vertical units for every 12 horizontal units. If you’re unsure about your roof’s pitch, you can ask your roofing contractor to measure the pitch. They can let you know if a PVC roof will work on your home.


Benefits of PVC Roofing

One of the biggest benefits of PVC roofing is its durability. While many other types of membrane roofs last between 15 and 20 years, PVC roofing lasts as long as 30 years. This durability is thanks to installers hot air welding the seams, forming a watertight bond. This protects the membrane and the layers beneath it from suffering water damage, which is the leading cause of roof damage.

In addition to being water resistant, PVC roofing also provides fire resistance. Being fire-resistant doesn’t mean that the roof can’t be destroyed in a fire. However, if you own a home or building in an area where wildfires are common, having a roof that provides fire resistance can help ensure that the building doesn’t suffer destruction because of a stray ember. Fire-resistant roofing also leads to lower insurance costs.

PVC roofs require very little maintenance, making them a popular choice among people with flat roofs. Unlike some other type of flat roof finishes, PVC roofs are all light-colored. The only downside of light-colored roofs is that they show dirt. Having the roof cleaned is the only type of required maintenance, and if you’re OK with the roof not being pristine, it’s not even necessary.

Finally, PVC roofs provide a great deal of environmental friendliness. When a PVC roof is replaced, the old roof can be recycled. This eco-friendly status makes PVC roofs popular among business owners. This is because the government offers tax breaks and other incentives to businesses that take steps to be more environmentally friendly.


How Much Does PVC Roofing Cost?

PVC roofing is more expensive than other types of flat roof membranes. Based on national averages, PVC roofing costs between $14 and $17 per square foot. Commercial roofs size are around 20,000 square feet on average. This means you should budget between $280,000 and $340,000 to install a PVC roof on your facility. Due to manufacturing costs, many roofing contractors reduce the cost of PVC roofing to closer to $12,000 per square foot on larger jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Are PVC roofs energy efficient?

The light-colored nature of PVC roofs makes them very energy efficient, especially for buildings in warmer climates. Instead of absorbing heat like some darker roofing finishes, PVC roofs reflect sunlight. This makes the space they cover significantly cooler without adding strain to your HVAC system.

Are PVC roofs easy to repair?

Unfortunately, PVC roofing often proves challenging to repair. Unlike some types of single-ply roofing membranes, contractors cannot patch a damaged portion of PVC roofing. If you have a damaged sheet of PVC roofing, that sheet will need replacing should it become damaged.

Can you recycle old PVC roofs?

One of the most appealing aspects of PVC roofs is that they are recyclable. Old materials can be used to make new PVC roofing.

Whether you’re looking for a new roof for a commercial facility or you have a flat roof on your home and want to install a durable, energy-efficient roof, PVC roofing is a great option. Contractors have recommended this type of roofing for nearly 40 years, and it appears they will remain popular.